Wednesday, August 27, 2014

(even more) travel adventures

We are in Montana. Actually we have been here for a couple days now. But I am just now feeling rested and recuperated (enough to write) from all that traveling. 

Getting from Michigan to Minnesota was relatively uneventful (read: non-stop movies and snacks for the kids). We were able to see many friends including a couple brand new baby girls! Two extremely generous friends allowed me and my three ring circus to spend the night in their homes. They didn't even bat an eye at all our bizarre traveling antics (read: van loaded to the brim that spilled out on their driveway + vomit soaked car seat). That reminds me. Hannah chose this moment...

to gag herself to the point of vomiting. She really has a knack for choosing THE worst moments to throw up! Those ominous gray clouds released buckets of rain moments after I snapped this picture in stopped Chicago traffic. So there we sat in our very odiferous van. Not going anywhere. It was less than pleasant.

But we survived. And really the rest of the trip was fairly pleasant. I mean how can you stay crabby when you get to hold such a sweet little bundle?!?

My best friend had her baby the same day we arrived in Wisconsin! And she still let us come visit. Now THAT is a good friend. 

Because we definitely brought chaos with us! This picture may look not be fooled. 

The kids and I arrived in Minnesota with a little over 24 hours to get unloaded, unpacked, re-packed and loaded and on the road again. I was on a tight schedule. A schedule that did NOT have room to deal with incorrectly filed state taxes from 2011. Unfortunately the letter from the state waiting for me at my parents' house begged to differ! Talk about stress. Had we received this letter 3 months ago it would have been no big deal. However currently all of the pertinent paperwork is very safely filed away in an (unmarked!) box somewhere in the garage stall filled to the brim with all of our belongings. Essentially a needle in a hay stack. Long story short: Joe saved the day by hunting down all the necessary paperwork and re-filing my state taxes from 2011. He's the best!

So back on the road we went. 

All of me and my kidlets tucked safe and snug in the back of my parents' van! (I don't ever want to road trip solo again. So many grown up hands and minds make a trip a whole lot sane-er.) First stop was my sister's house. Kids played. Grown ups chatted (and cooked). Oh and I forced my sister to take this picture with me...for prosperity!

It's our only pregnancy picture together. As this is our first time being pregnant at the same time:) I was/am a bit reluctant to share this picture as I look HUGE for 16 weeks considering my sister is carrying TWO babies and is nearly twice as far along as me (30 weeks) but prosperity wins! It always does. 

After dinner we loaded back into the van and drove the remaining five hours to my brother's place in Montana. We UNWISELY arrived in middle of the night. 12:30am. Waking sleeping children and settling them into new surroundings is not a wise parenting move. Add in a creek that was flooding my brother's driveway and was a middle of the night adventure! 

This is the driveway:

Handy for fishing. Not so convenient for getting to the house. The solution? A suspended foot bridge. With a ladder on each end. 

Oh and a couple of pickup trucks on either side of the bridge to haul us and our luggage to our final destination. 

These pictures were taken the day after our arrival. Our first trek across was not documented. It was pitch black. And our footwear was less than ideal...silly city people:) The kids loved it. And admittedly, my adventure-loving self thought it was pretty fun too. And totally worth it!

My brother's new place is fabulous. So peaceful and beautiful. The kids and I are loving all the wide-open space and quality time with family on their home turf. 

Oh and the mud and dirt and bugs! My kids love those too. Me. Not so much. 

Friday we head out to family camp for the weekend (here in Montana). This time we will simply drive out as the creek has dried up. And then finally back to Minnesota (in time for the first day of school). Once I am settled into our new norm in Minnesota I will have many, many more pictures of cousins and travels to share. (Consider yourself warned.)

Charlotte keeps asking where we are going next (as well as which states we have visited/lived in). She's a tad confused. Rightfully so. Today her and I wrote out/drew this "map" of our travels. 

Clear as mud, eh? The red is the road & stop signs. The brown are all houses we have stayed at. Still confused? Me too. 

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